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Click to change imageThe Asia Pacific Solidarity Network (APSN) is a network of activists who are building solidarity with and support for movements for social justice, genuine democracy and self-determination around the Asia Pacific region.

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APSN – The activist resource site on Indonesia, East Timor and West Papua. Over 20 years of archived reports and articles. APSN also has an wide range of essential resources, archived news and press releases, links and background reports on the Asia-Pacific region. Site map

News reports translated from Indonesian language news sources.

Indonesia's peak religious body supports beheadings for murderers in Aceh
CNN Indonesia – March 15, 2018
The Indonesian Ulama Council's (MUI) Religious Outreach Commission chairperson, Cholil Nafis, agrees with a plan to apply beheadings (hukum pancung, qisas) for murderers whihh is currently being considered by the Aceh Islamic Law Office.

Hardline Islamic group HTI to support Crescent Star Party in legislative elections
CNN Indonesia – March 14, 2018
The spokesperson for the outlawed hardline Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), Ismail Yusanto, has confirmed there have been discussions between HTI leaders and the Crescent Star Party (PBB) on participating in the 2019 legislative elections (pileg).

Jokowi threatens to 'clobber' people who spread hoaxes about communist links
Kompas.com – March 14, 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has issued a strong warning against people who spread slander accusing him of being linked to the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

Amid souring murder rates, Aceh considers beheading for capital crimes
Detik News – March 14, 2018
The Aceh Islam Law Office (DSI) is debating the application of Qisas – retributive justice – for perpetrators of crimes such as murder in order to push down crime rates which have been rising of late.

IWD rally in Jakarta slams Criminal Code revisions, attacks on democracy
Detik News – March 8, 2018
Women activists from a number of different organisations commemorated International Women's Day (IWD) with demands for equality and opposing discrimination, violence, intolerance and poverty.

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-Latest News
The true history of one of the 20th century's worst massacres
The Guardian – March 15, 2018
Joshua Oppenheimer's 2012 documentary The Act of Killing follows a cabal of ageing hoodlums around the city of Medan, in north-west Indonesia.

Jakarta opposes Aceh plan to behead murderers
Straits Times – March 16, 2018
The central government has warned the Aceh administration against introducing beheading as a punishment for murder under its sharia law system, saying the province did not have the legal authority to do so.

Indonesia urged to block moves to introduce beheading as punishment for murder
ABC Radio Australia – March 16, 2018
Amnesty International has urged Indonesia to step in and block moves to introduce beheading as a punishment for murder in the country's conservative Aceh province.

Insulting House could now be felony
Jakarta Post – March 15, 2018
Former president Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid was the only president after the Reform Era to have publicly insulted the House of Representatives, comparing it to a kindergarten.

Money, politics behind spread of falsehoods in Indonesia: Founder of anti-hoax community
Channel News Asia – March 16, 2018
Falsehoods are created and spread online in Indonesia for economic and political reasons with no regard for the consequences, said the founder and chairman of Mafindo, an anti-hoax community, on Friday (Mar 16).

Debt at Indonesian state contractors soars in infrastructure push
Nikkei Asian Review – March 16, 2018
The debt of Indonesia's four major listed state-owned construction companies jumped 57% by the end of 2017 from a year earlier to 156.2 trillion rupiah ($11.3 billion), raising alarm about excessive borrowing to fund the government's infrastructure push.

East Timor parties form alliance for new elections
Associated Press – March 16, 2018
Three political parties that brought down East Timor's minority government say they will campaign under one umbrella for new elections due in May.

-Drunken Republic
Click to view imagesDrunken Republic

The lighter (or darker) side of Indonesian politics.

-Red Flag
Red Flag is the fortnightly newspaper of the Australian socialist organisation Socialist Alternative. More >>

-Statements & Press Releases
Indonesian President Widodo: PM must address West Papua
West Papua Action Auckland Press Release – March 16, 2018
West Papua Action Auckland has urged the Prime Minister to raise human rights and the suffering of the people of Indonesian ruled West Papua when she meets with President Widodo on Monday.

Will PM Turnbull and Julie Bishop raise the human rights situation in West Papua with Jokowi at ASEAN Summit?
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) Media Release – March 16, 2018
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit is taking place in Sydney on the 17-18 March.

In the face of the horrific treatment of trans people in Aceh, we must stand up and act
Amnesty International Statement – March 10, 2018
to be free from torture, inhumane or degrading treatment, the right to freedom of expression, a private life, and protection from discrimination – are disregarded and discarded.

Women workers and the people fight for democracy, equality and prosperity
Joint Statement on IWD 2018 – March 8, 2018
Viva democracy and equality! March 8, 2018, is exactly 118 years since the Women's Conference in Denmark which set March 8 as International Women's Day (IWD).

Indonesia: Medical groups silent on abusive 'virginity tests'
Human Rights Watch Statement – March 7, 2018
Indonesian medical associations should publicly denounce so-called virginity tests obligatory for female applicants to the Indonesian National Armed Forces and National Police, Human Rights Watch said in letters sent on February 20, 2018.

Indonesia: War against terrorism should respect human rights and the Rule of Law
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – March 6, 2018
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a regional, non-governmental, human rights organization in Asia, has learned of the current situation on the war against terrorism in Indonesia.

Statements, press releases, solidarity and urgent appeals are archived under their country specific page/section, which can be selected from the drop-down menu on the left.

News, in-depth reports and analysis focusing on political developments in the Asia Pacific region.

Indonesia: Indonesia's minority report
New Mandala – February 14, 2018
Late last month, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) issued its 2017 Democracy Index report. In what was a grim year worldwide for five broad categories of democratic indicators – electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture, and civil liberties – the worst performing country was Indonesia.

Indonesia: Absent Ahok, anti-Chinese sentiment on artists' minds at Indonesia shows that test the bounds of tolerance
South China Morning Post – November 17, 2017
There isn't a single image of jailed former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to be seen, but the man commonly referred to by his Hakka Chinese nickname Ahok looms large at one of the biggest events on the Indonesian art calendar.

Indonesia: Why is the Industrial Relations Court failing workers?
Indonesia at Melbourne – November 15, 2017
Every International Labour Day, workers across Indonesia conduct major protests against outsourcing, low wages, and workforce liberalisation policies. This is perhaps to be expected but more surprising are the calls in recent years for the Industrial Relations Court to be closed down.

Indonesia: Behind Indonesia's illiberal turn
New Mandala – October 20, 2017
The past year or so has seen conspicuous setbacks to Indonesian democracy's capacity to protect many social rights, including of some of the more vulnerable members of society – most notably women, religious and sexual minorities, and victims of the 1965-66 mass killings.

Indonesia: A new ideological contestation emerging in Indonesia?
ISEAS Perspectives – October 19, 2017
A long period of ideological vacuum in mainstream politics came to an end in the lead-up to the 2014 presidential elections and was further confirmed in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial elections.

More >>

Max Lane’s Blog – Commentary and analysis on the history, contemporary politics and culture of Indonesian and its relationships with Australia and the world.

-Earlier this week
S. Rukiah Kertapati, forgotten woman writer of the Indonesian revolution
Jakarta Globe – March 15, 2018
In 1953, a woman won the literature award from Indonesia's Badan Musyawarah Kebudayaan Nasional, one of the most prestigious awards in the country at that time. She became the first woman to win the award that normally went to men like Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Mochtar Lubis or Utuy Tatang Sontani.

More activists protesting air pollution in Sukoharjo arrested
Jakarta Post – March 14, 2018
Four activists and residents, in addition to the three previously, were arrested on Wednesday in Sukoharjo, Central Java, following months of protests against smelly air in the regency allegedly coming from a synthetic fiber factory.

Papuan political prisoner sentenced for treason
Radio New Zealand International – March 14, 2018
A member of the pro-independence West Papua National Committee has been given a ten-month jail sentence for treason by an Indonesian court.

Vigilantes in Aceh raid salon, turn man and transwoman over to religious police
Coconuts Jakarta – March 14, 2018
Vigilantism in the name of ultra-conservative morality continues unabated in Aceh, the only province of Indonesia given special autonomy to enact sharia-based laws. The latest incident involves a man and a transwoman who were rounded up by self-appointed moral police after being accused of prostitution.

Criticism of parliament potentially criminalized as MD3 law goes into effect today
Coconuts Jakarta – March 14, 2018
If you have something bad to say about Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) or any of its members, you'd best say it extremely carefully. A controversial law passed by the DPR one month ago, referred to as UU MD3, goes into effect starting today.

Muslim Cyber Army: a 'fake news' operation designed to derail Indonesia's leader
The Guardian – March 13, 2018
Police in Indonesia believe they have uncovered a clandestine fake news operation designed to corrupt the political process and destabilise the government.

West Papua's enduring struggle for independence
Asia Times – March 13, 2018
The next two years could prove to be transformative for Melanesia, a region of Pacific islands spanning from Papua in the west to Fiji in the east. Two votes on independence, scheduled in 2018 and 2019, could bring two new nations into the fold and shake up the politics of a region where decolonization is still a pressing matter.

Gas profits and China fears drive Australia-Timor boundary treaty
World Socialist Website – March 13, 2018
Acrimonious disputes are continuing between the governments of Australia and the tiny neighouring state of East Timor despite last week's signing at the UN in New York of what the media misleadingly called an "historic" maritime boundary treaty covering the oil- and gas-rich Timor Sea.

Timor-Leste gives Xanana Gusmao hero's welcome
UCA News – March 12, 2018
Timor-Leste's former president and prime minister Xanana Gusmao returned home in triumph on March 11 with a new maritime treaty with Australia, but warned the battle to win a favorable oil and gas deal with the country's giant neighbor remained far from over.

Police raided home of 'lesbians' after neighbours said they 'don't fit norms of society'
Pink News – March 12, 2018
Police in Indonesia have raided the home of two women accused of being a "lesbian couple". Neighbours of the women accused them of being a couple and said that they were uncomfortable about it, sparking a raid carried out by the Civil Service Police Unit.

Indonesia is rounding up trans people and forcing them into 'rehabilitation'
Star Observer – March 12, 2018
Indonesia's government is reportedly rounding up trans people in Jakarta and forcing them into 'rehabilitation' for the 'violation' of being transgender. The Jakarta Social Agency has now said it considers trans people to be 'people with social dysfunctional traits' in the latest instance of LGBTI people being persecuted in Indonesia.

Islamic university reverses niqab face veil ban after barrage of criticism
Coconuts Jakarta – March 12, 2018
Last week, Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University (UIN) in Yogyakarta made headlines in Indonesia and around the world after the university's dean made the controversial decision to ban women, including students and faculty, from wearing the niqab (Islamic face veil).

Step up efforts to support Indonesian women's rights plea to Jakarta
Asia Pacific Report – March 12, 2018
The National Commission on Violence Against Women, or Komnas Perempuan, has called on the government to do more to protect women's rights, particularly by enacting a long-overdue bill on the elimination of sexual violence.

Daughters celebrate 'Soeharto month' at TMII
Jakarta Post – March 12, 2018
Former president Soeharto's daughters, Siti Hediati Hariyadi, or Titiek Soeharto, and Siti Hutami Endang Adiningsih, or Mamiek Soeharto, attended the peak of an event called HM Soeharto Month in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in East Jakarta on Sunday.

Thailand's abortion law needs to be changed
Ugly Truth Thailand – March 11, 2018
The participation of women in Thai society is reasonably high compared to some other Asian countries. Women have always been part of the workforce in rural and urban areas. Many women can be found in leadership positions in trade unions, social movements and NGOs.

News archives

  • News reports on Aceh, Indonesia and West Papua are archived in the Indonesia News Digests.
  • News reports on East Timor are archived in the East Timor News Digests.
  • Other news reports are archived under their country specific page/section.
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